Minor Prophets

Minor Prophets

  To those who have never read the Bible this is from the Old Testament section, the section given to the Jewish People. The New Testament is the section of the Bible that explains Christianity, the reasons for Christmas & Easter.
  When you read these books by the Prophets of Israel realize that the United States has just been repeating history, we have been given a chance to learn from others mistake but refuse, therefore one should not be shocked when the consequences repeat also.

  "For years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

Anne Graham Lotz


The book of Habakkuk
Chapter 1

The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.

  How long, O LORD, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
  Or cry out to you, "Violence!"
    but you do not save?

  Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrong?
  Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.

  Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
  The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

  "Look at the nations and watch--
    and be utterly amazed.
  For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.

  I am raising up the Babylonians,
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
  who sweep across the whole earth
    to seize dwelling places not their own.

  They are a feared and dreaded people;
    they are a law to themselves
    and promote their own honor.

  Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    fiercer than wolves at dusk.
  Their cavalry gallops headlong;
    their horsemen come from afar.
  They fly like a vulture swooping to devour;

    they all come bent on violence.
  Their hordes advance like a desert wind
    and gather prisoners like sand.

  They deride kings
    and scoff at rulers.
  They laugh at all fortified cities;
    they build earthen ramps and capture them.

  Then they sweep past like the wind and go on--
    guilty men, whose own strength is their god."

  O LORD, are you not from everlasting?
    My God, my Holy One, we will not die.
  O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment;
    O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.

  Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrong.
  Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

  You have made men like fish in the sea,
    like sea creatures that have no ruler.

  The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
    he catches them in his net,
  he gathers them up in his dragnet;
    and so he rejoices and is glad.

  Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense to his dragnet,
  for by his net he lives in luxury
    and enjoys the choicest food.

  Is he to keep on emptying his net,
    destroying nations without mercy?

  I will stand at my watch
    and station myself on the ramparts;
  I will look to see what he will say to me,
    and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

Chapter 2

    Then the LORD replied:

  "Write down the revelation
    and make it plain on tablets
    so that a herald may run with it.

  For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
  Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come and will not delay.

  "See, he is puffed up;
    his desires are not upright--
    but the righteous will live by his faith--

  indeed, wine betrays him;
    he is arrogant and never at rest.
  Because he is as greedy as the grave
    and like death is never satisfied,
  he gathers to himself all the nations
    and takes captive all the peoples.

    "Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying,

  " `Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
    and makes himself wealthy by extortion!
    How long must this go on?'

  Will not your debtors suddenly arise?
    Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
    Then you will become their victim.

  Because you have plundered many nations,
    the peoples who are left will plunder you.
  For you have shed man's blood;
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

  "Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain
    to set his nest on high,
    to escape the clutches of ruin!

  You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,
    shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.

  The stones of the wall will cry out,
    and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.

  "Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
    and establishes a town by crime!

  Has not the LORD Almighty determined
    that the people's labor is only fuel for the fire,
    that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?

  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
    as the waters cover the sea.

  "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors,
    pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk,
    so that he can gaze on their naked bodies.

  You will be filled with shame instead of glory.
    Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed!
  The cup from the LORD's right hand is coming around to you,
    and disgrace will cover your glory.

  The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
    and your destruction of animals will terrify you.
  For you have shed man's blood;
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

  "Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it?
    Or an image that teaches lies?
  For he who makes it trusts in his own creation;
    he makes idols that cannot speak.

  Woe to him who says to wood, `Come to life!'
    Or to lifeless stone, `Wake up!'
  Can it give guidance?
    It is covered with gold and silver;
    there is no breath in it.

  But the LORD is in his holy temple;
    let all the earth be silent before him."

Chapter 3

    A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.

  LORD, I have heard of your fame;
    I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
  Renew them in our day,
    in our time make them known;
    in wrath remember mercy.

  God came from Teman,
    the Holy One from Mount Paran.
  His glory covered the heavens
    and his praise filled the earth.

  His splendor was like the sunrise;
    rays flashed from his hand,
    where his power was hidden.

  Plague went before him;
    pestilence followed his steps.

  He stood, and shook the earth;
    he looked, and made the nations tremble.
  The ancient mountains crumbled
    and the age-old hills collapsed.
    His ways are eternal.

  I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
    the dwellings of Midian in anguish.

  Were you angry with the rivers, O LORD?
    Was your wrath against the streams?
  Did you rage against the sea
    when you rode with your horses
    and your victorious chariots?

  You uncovered your bow,
    you called for many arrows.
  You split the earth with rivers;

    the mountains saw you and writhed.
  Torrents of water swept by;
    the deep roared
    and lifted its waves on high.

  Sun and moon stood still in the heavens
    at the glint of your flying arrows,
    at the lightning of your flashing spear.

  In wrath you strode through the earth
    and in anger you threshed the nations.

  You came out to deliver your people,
    to save your anointed one.
  You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
    you stripped him from head to foot.

  With his own spear you pierced his head
    when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
  gloating as though about to devour
    the wretched who were in hiding.

  You trampled the sea with your horses,
    churning the great waters.

  I heard and my heart pounded,
    my lips quivered at the sound;
  decay crept into my bones,
    and my legs trembled.
  Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
    to come on the nation invading us.

  Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
  though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
  though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,

  yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

  The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to go on the heights.

  For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.


The book of Zephaniah
Chapter 1

    The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:

  "I will sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth,"
        declares the LORD.

  "I will sweep away both men and animals;
    I will sweep away the birds of the air
    and the fish of the sea.
  The wicked will have only heaps of rubble
    when I cut off man from the face of the earth,"
        declares the LORD.

  "I will stretch out my hand against Judah
    and against all who live in Jerusalem.
  I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal,
    the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests--

  those who bow down on the roofs
    to worship the starry host,
  those who bow down and swear by the LORD
    and who also swear by Molech,

  those who turn back from following the LORD
    and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him.

  Be silent before the Sovereign LORD,
    for the day of the LORD is near.
  The LORD has prepared a sacrifice;
    he has consecrated those he has invited.

  On the day of the LORD's sacrifice
    I will punish the princes
    and the king's sons
  and all those clad
    in foreign clothes.

  On that day I will punish
    all who avoid stepping on the threshold,
  who fill the temple of their gods
    with violence and deceit.

  "On that day," declares the LORD,
    "a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,
    wailing from the New Quarter,
    and a loud crash from the hills.

  Wail, you who live in the market district;
    all your merchants will be wiped out,
    all who trade with silver will be ruined.

  At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
    and punish those who are complacent,
    who are like wine left on its dregs,
  who think, `The LORD will do nothing,
    either good or bad.'

  Their wealth will be plundered,
    their houses demolished.
  They will build houses
    but not live in them;
  they will plant vineyards
    but not drink the wine.

  "The great day of the LORD is near--
    near and coming quickly.
  Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter,
    the shouting of the warrior there.

  That day will be a day of wrath,
    a day of distress and anguish,
  a day of trouble and ruin,
    a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and blackness,

  a day of trumpet and battle cry
    against the fortified cities
    and against the corner towers.

  I will bring distress on the people
    and they will walk like blind men,
    because they have sinned against the LORD.
  Their blood will be poured out like dust
    and their entrails like filth.

  Neither their silver nor their gold
    will be able to save them
    on the day of the LORD's wrath.
  In the fire of his jealousy
    the whole world will be consumed,
  for he will make a sudden end
    of all who live in the earth."

Chapter 2

  Gather together, gather together,
    O shameful nation,

  before the appointed time arrives
    and that day sweeps on like chaff,
  before the fierce anger of the LORD comes upon you,
    before the day of the LORD's wrath comes upon you.

  Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land,
    you who do what he commands.
  Seek righteousness, seek humility;
    perhaps you will be sheltered
    on the day of the LORD's anger.

  Gaza will be abandoned
    and Ashkelon left in ruins.
  At midday Ashdod will be emptied
    and Ekron uprooted.

  Woe to you who live by the sea,
    O Kerethite people;
  the word of the LORD is against you,
    O Canaan, land of the Philistines.

  "I will destroy you,
    and none will be left."

  The land by the sea, where the Kerethites dwell,
    will be a place for shepherds and sheep pens.

  It will belong to the remnant of the house of Judah;
    there they will find pasture.
  In the evening they will lie down
    in the houses of Ashkelon.
  The LORD their God will care for them;
    he will restore their fortunes.

  "I have heard the insults of Moab
    and the taunts of the Ammonites,
  who insulted my people
    and made threats against their land.

  Therefore, as surely as I live,"
    declares the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel,
  "surely Moab will become like Sodom,
    the Ammonites like Gomorrah--
  a place of weeds and salt pits,
    a wasteland forever.
  The remnant of my people will plunder them;
    the survivors of my nation will inherit their land."

  This is what they will get in return for their pride,
    for insulting and mocking the people of the LORD Almighty.

  The LORD will be awesome to them
    when he destroys all the gods of the land.
  The nations on every shore will worship him,
    every one in its own land.

  "You too, O Cushites,
    will be slain by my sword."

  He will stretch out his hand against the north
    and destroy Assyria,
  leaving Nineveh utterly desolate
    and dry as the desert.

  Flocks and herds will lie down there,
    creatures of every kind.
  The desert owl and the screech owl
    will roost on her columns.
  Their calls will echo through the windows,
    rubble will be in the doorways,
    the beams of cedar will be exposed.

  This is the carefree city
    that lived in safety.
  She said to herself,
    "I am, and there is none besides me."
  What a ruin she has become,
    a lair for wild beasts!
  All who pass by her scoff
    and shake their fists.

Chapter 3

  Woe to the city of oppressors,
    rebellious and defiled!

  She obeys no one,
    she accepts no correction.
  She does not trust in the LORD,
    she does not draw near to her God.

  Her officials are roaring lions,
    her rulers are evening wolves,
    who leave nothing for the morning.

  Her prophets are arrogant;
    they are treacherous men.
  Her priests profane the sanctuary
    and do violence to the law.

  The LORD within her is righteous;
    he does no wrong.
  Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,
    and every new day he does not fail,
    yet the unrighteous know no shame.

  "I have cut off nations;
    their strongholds are demolished.
  I have left their streets deserted,
    with no one passing through.
  Their cities are destroyed;
    no one will be left--no one at all.

  I said to the city,
    `Surely you will fear me
    and accept correction!'
  Then her dwelling would not be cut off,
    nor all my punishments come upon her.
  But they were still eager
    to act corruptly in all they did.

  Therefore wait for me," declares the LORD,
    "for the day I will stand up to testify.
  I have decided to assemble the nations,
    to gather the kingdoms
  and to pour out my wrath on them--
    all my fierce anger.
  The whole world will be consumed
    by the fire of my jealous anger.

  "Then will I purify the lips of the peoples,
    that all of them may call on the name of the LORD
    and serve him shoulder to shoulder.

  From beyond the rivers of Cush
    my worshipers, my scattered people,
    will bring me offerings.

  On that day you will not be put to shame
    for all the wrongs you have done to me,
  because I will remove from this city
    those who rejoice in their pride.
  Never again will you be haughty
    on my holy hill.

  But I will leave within you
    the meek and humble,
    who trust in the name of the LORD.

  The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;
    they will speak no lies,
    nor will deceit be found in their mouths.
  They will eat and lie down
    and no one will make them afraid."

  Sing, O Daughter of Zion;
    shout aloud, O Israel!
  Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
    O Daughter of Jerusalem!

  The LORD has taken away your punishment,
    he has turned back your enemy.
  The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;
    never again will you fear any harm.

  On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
    "Do not fear, O Zion;
    do not let your hands hang limp.

  The LORD your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
  He will take great delight in you,
    he will quiet you with his love,
    he will rejoice over you with singing."

  "The sorrows for the appointed feasts
    I will remove from you;
    they are a burden and a reproach to you.

  At that time I will deal
    with all who oppressed you;
  I will rescue the lame
    and gather those who have been scattered.
  I will give them praise and honor
    in every land where they were put to shame.

  At that time I will gather you;
    at that time I will bring you home.
  I will give you honor and praise
    among all the peoples of the earth
  when I restore your fortunes
    before your very eyes,"
        says the LORD.


The book of Amos
Chapter 1

    The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa--what he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.

    He said:

  "The LORD roars from Zion
    and thunders from Jerusalem;
  the pastures of the shepherds dry up,
    and the top of Carmel withers."

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Damascus,
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  Because she threshed Gilead
    with sledges having iron teeth,

  I will send fire upon the house of Hazael
    that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.

  I will break down the gate of Damascus;
    I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Aven
  and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden.
    The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir,"
        says the LORD.

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Gaza,
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  Because she took captive whole communities
    and sold them to Edom,

  I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza
    that will consume her fortresses.

  I will destroy the king of Ashdod
    and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon.
  I will turn my hand against Ekron,
    till the last of the Philistines is dead,"
        says the Sovereign LORD.

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Tyre,
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom,
    disregarding a treaty of brotherhood,

  I will send fire upon the walls of Tyre
    that will consume her fortresses."

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Edom,
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  Because he pursued his brother with a sword,
    stifling all compassion,
  because his anger raged continually
    and his fury flamed unchecked,

  I will send fire upon Teman
    that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah."

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Ammon,
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
    in order to extend his borders,

  I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah
    that will consume her fortresses
  amid war cries on the day of battle,
    amid violent winds on a stormy day.

  Her king will go into exile,
    he and his officials together,"
        says the LORD.

Chapter 2

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Moab,
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  Because he burned, as if to lime,
    the bones of Edom's king,

  I will send fire upon Moab
    that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth.
  Moab will go down in great tumult
    amid war cries and the blast of the trumpet.

  I will destroy her ruler
    and kill all her officials with him,"
        says the LORD.

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Judah (America),
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  Because they have rejected the law of the LORD
    and have not kept his decrees,
  because they have been led astray by false gods,
    the gods their ancestors followed,

  I will send fire upon Judah (America)
    that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem (Washington D.C.)."

    This is what the LORD says:

  "For three sins of Israel (United States),
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
  They sell the righteous for silver,
    and the needy for a pair of sandals.

  They trample on the heads of the poor
    as upon the dust of the ground
    and deny justice to the oppressed.
  Father and son use the same girl
    and so profane my holy name.

  They lie down beside every altar
    on garments taken in pledge.
  In the house of their god
    they drink wine taken as fines.

  "I destroyed the Amorite before them,
    though he was tall as the cedars
    and strong as the oaks.
  I destroyed his fruit above
    and his roots below.

  "I brought you up out of Egypt,
    and I led you forty years in the desert
    to give you the land of the Amorites.

  I also raised up prophets from among your sons
    and Nazirites from among your young men.
  Is this not true, people of Israel?"
        declares the LORD.

  "But you made the Nazirites drink wine
    and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.

  "Now then, I will crush you
    as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.

  The swift will not escape,
    the strong will not muster their strength,
    and the warrior will not save his life.

  The archer will not stand his ground,
    the fleet-footed soldier will not get away,
    and the horseman will not save his life.

  Even the bravest warriors
    will flee naked on that day,"
        declares the LORD.

Chapter 3

    Hear this word the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel--against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:

  "You only have I chosen
    of all the families of the earth;
  therefore I will punish you
    for all your sins."

  Do two walk together
    unless they have agreed to do so?

  Does a lion roar in the thicket
    when he has no prey?
  Does he growl in his den
    when he has caught nothing?

  Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground
    where no snare has been set?
  Does a trap spring up from the earth
    when there is nothing to catch?

  When a trumpet sounds in a city,
    do not the people tremble?
  When disaster comes to a city,
    has not the LORD caused it?

  Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing
    without revealing his plan
    to his servants the prophets.

  The lion has roared--
    who will not fear?
  The Sovereign LORD has spoken--
    who can but prophesy?

  Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod
    and to the fortresses of Egypt:
  "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;
    see the great unrest within her
    and the oppression among her people."

  "They do not know how to do right," declares the LORD,
    "who hoard plunder and loot in their fortresses."

    Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says:

  "An enemy will overrun the land;
    he will pull down your strongholds
    and plunder your fortresses."

    This is what the LORD says:

  "As a shepherd saves from the lion's mouth
    only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,
    so will the Israelites be saved,
  those who sit in Samaria
    on the edge of their beds
    and in Damascus on their couches. "

    "Hear this and testify against the house of Jacob," declares the Lord, the LORD God Almighty.

  "On the day I punish Israel for her sins,
    I will destroy the altars of Bethel;
  the horns of the altar will be cut off
    and fall to the ground.

  I will tear down the winter house
    along with the summer house;
  the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed
    and the mansions will be demolished,"
        declares the LORD.

Chapter 4

  Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria,
    you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy
    and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!"

  The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his holiness:
    "The time will surely come
  when you will be taken away with hooks,
    the last of you with fishhooks.

  You will each go straight out
    through breaks in the wall,
    and you will be cast out toward Harmon, "
        declares the LORD.

  "Go to Bethel and sin;
    go to Gilgal and sin yet more.
  Bring your sacrifices every morning,
    your tithes every three years.

  Burn leavened bread as a thank offering
    and brag about your freewill offerings--
  boast about them, you Israelites,
    for this is what you love to do,"
        declares the Sovereign LORD.

  "I gave you empty stomachs in every city
    and lack of bread in every town,
    yet you have not returned to me,"
        declares the LORD.

  "I also withheld rain from you
    when the harvest was still three months away.
  I sent rain on one town,
    but withheld it from another.
  One field had rain;
    another had none and dried up.

  People staggered from town to town for water
    but did not get enough to drink,
    yet you have not returned to me,"
        declares the LORD.

  "Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards,
    I struck them with blight and mildew.
  Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees,
    yet you have not returned to me,"
        declares the LORD.

  "I sent plagues among you
    as I did to Egypt.
  I killed your young men with the sword,
    along with your captured horses.
  I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps,
    yet you have not returned to me,"
        declares the LORD.

  "I overthrew some of you
    as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
  You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire,
    yet you have not returned to me,"
        declares the LORD.

  "Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel,
    and because I will do this to you,
    prepare to meet your God, O Israel."

  He who forms the mountains,
    creates the wind,
    and reveals his thoughts to man,
  he who turns dawn to darkness,
    and treads the high places of the earth--
    the LORD God Almighty is his name.

Chapter 5

    Hear this word, O house of Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:

  "Fallen is Virgin Israel,
    never to rise again,
  deserted in her own land,
    with no one to lift her up."

    This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

  "The city that marches out a thousand strong for Israel
    will have only a hundred left;
  the town that marches out a hundred strong
    will have only ten left."

    This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel:

  "Seek me and live;

    do not seek Bethel,
  do not go to Gilgal,
    do not journey to Beersheba.
  For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
    and Bethel will be reduced to nothing. "

  Seek the LORD and live,
    or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire;
  it will devour,
    and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

  You who turn justice into bitterness
    and cast righteousness to the ground

  (he who made the Pleiades and Orion,
    who turns blackness into dawn
    and darkens day into night,
  who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out over the face of the land--
    the LORD is his name--

  he flashes destruction on the stronghold
    and brings the fortified city to ruin),

  you hate the one who reproves in court
    and despise him who tells the truth.

  You trample on the poor
    and force him to give you grain.
  Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,
    you will not live in them;
  though you have planted lush vineyards,
    you will not drink their wine.

  For I know how many are your offenses
    and how great your sins.

  You oppress the righteous and take bribes
    and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

  Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet in such times,
    for the times are evil.

  Seek good, not evil,
    that you may live.
  Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
    just as you say he is.

  Hate evil, love good;
    maintain justice in the courts.
  Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy
    on the remnant of Joseph.

    Therefore this is what the Lord, the LORD God Almighty, says:

  "There will be wailing in all the streets
    and cries of anguish in every public square.
  The farmers will be summoned to weep
    and the mourners to wail.

  There will be wailing in all the vineyards,
    for I will pass through your midst,"
        says the LORD.

  Woe to you who long
    for the day of the LORD!
  Why do you long for the day of the LORD?
    That day will be darkness, not light.

  It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,
  as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.

  Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light--
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?

  "I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
    I cannot stand your assemblies.

  Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.
  Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.

  Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.

  But let justice roll on like a river,
    righteousness like a never-failing stream!

  "Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
    forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?

  you have lifted up the shrine of your king,
    the pedestal of your idols,
    the star of your god--
    which you made for yourselves.

  Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,"
    says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty.

Chapter 6

      Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
    and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
  you notable men of the foremost nation,
    to whom the people of Israel come!

  Go to Calneh and look at it;
    go from there to great Hamath,
    and then go down to Gath in Philistia.
  Are they better off than your two kingdoms?
    Is their land larger than yours?

  You put off the evil day
    and bring near a reign of terror.

  You lie on beds inlaid with ivory
    and lounge on your couches.
  You dine on choice lambs
    and fattened calves.

  You strum away on your harps like David
    and improvise on musical instruments.

  You drink wine by the bowlful
    and use the finest lotions,
    but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.

  Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
    your feasting and lounging will end.

    The Sovereign LORD has sworn by himself--the LORD God Almighty declares:

  "I abhor the pride of Jacob
    and detest his fortresses;
  I will deliver up the city
    and everything in it."

    If ten men are left in one house, they too will die. And if a relative who is to burn the bodies comes to carry them out of the house and asks anyone still hiding there, "Is anyone with you?" and he says, "No," then he will say, "Hush! We must not mention the name of the LORD."

  For the LORD has given the command,
    and he will smash the great house into pieces
    and the small house into bits.

  Do horses run on the rocky crags?
    Does one plow there with oxen?
  But you have turned justice into poison
    and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness--

  you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar
    and say, "Did we not take Karnaim by our own strength?"

  For the LORD God Almighty declares,
    "I will stir up a nation against you, O house of Israel,
  that will oppress you all the way
    from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah."

Chapter 7

    This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king's share had been harvested and just as the second crop was coming up. When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!"

    So the LORD relented.
    "This will not happen," the LORD said.

    This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!"

    So the LORD relented.
    "This will not happen either," the Sovereign LORD said.

    This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Amos?"
    "A plumb line," I replied.
    Then the Lord said, "Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

  "The high places of Isaac will be destroyed
    and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined;
    with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam."

    Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: "Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. For this is what Amos is saying:

  " `Jeroboam will die by the sword,
    and Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.' "

    Then Amaziah said to Amos, "Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don't prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king's sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom."

    Amos answered Amaziah, "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, `Go, prophesy to my people Israel.' Now then, hear the word of the LORD. You say,

  " `Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and stop preaching against the house of Isaac.'

    "Therefore this is what the LORD says:
  " `Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,
    and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
  Your land will be measured and divided up,
    and you yourself will die in a pagan country.
  And Israel will certainly go into exile,
    away from their native land.' "

Chapter 8

    This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. "What do you see, Amos?" he asked.
    "A basket of ripe fruit," I answered.
    Then the LORD said to me, "The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

    "In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies--flung everywhere! Silence!"

  Hear this, you who trample the needy
    and do away with the poor of the land,

  "When will the New Moon be over
    that we may sell grain,
  and the Sabbath be ended
    that we may market wheat?"--
  skimping the measure,
    boosting the price
    and cheating with dishonest scales,

  buying the poor with silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,
    selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

    The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: "I will never forget anything they have done.

  "Will not the land tremble for this,
    and all who live in it mourn?
  The whole land will rise like the Nile;
    it will be stirred up and then sink
    like the river of Egypt.

    "In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD,

  "I will make the sun go down at noon
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.

  I will turn your religious feasts into mourning
    and all your singing into weeping.
  I will make all of you wear sackcloth
    and shave your heads.
  I will make that time like mourning for an only son
    and the end of it like a bitter day.

  "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD,
    "when I will send a famine through the land--
  not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
    but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.

  Men will stagger from sea to sea
    and wander from north to east,
  searching for the word of the LORD,
    but they will not find it.

    "In that day

  "the lovely young women and strong young men
    will faint because of thirst.

  They who swear by the shame of Samaria,
    or say, `As surely as your god lives, O Dan,'
    or, `As surely as the god of Beersheba lives'--
  they will fall,
    never to rise again."

Chapter 9

I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:

  "Strike the tops of the pillars
    so that the thresholds shake.
  Bring them down on the heads of all the people;
    those who are left I will kill with the sword.
  Not one will get away,
    none will escape.

  Though they dig down to the depths of the grave,
    from there my hand will take them.
  Though they climb up to the heavens,
    from there I will bring them down.

  Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
    there I will hunt them down and seize them.
  Though they hide from me at the bottom of the sea,
    there I will command the serpent to bite them.

  Though they are driven into exile by their enemies,
    there I will command the sword to slay them.
  I will fix my eyes upon them
    for evil and not for good."

  The Lord, the LORD Almighty,
    he who touches the earth and it melts,
    and all who live in it mourn--
  the whole land rises like the Nile,
    then sinks like the river of Egypt--

  he who builds his lofty palace in the heavens
    and sets its foundation on the earth,
  who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out over the face of the land--
    the LORD is his name.

  "Are not you Israelites
    the same to me as the Cushites?"
        declares the LORD.
  "Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt,
    the Philistines from Caphtor
    and the Arameans from Kir?

  "Surely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD
    are on the sinful kingdom.
  I will destroy it
    from the face of the earth--
  yet I will not totally destroy
    the house of Jacob,"
        declares the LORD.

  "For I will give the command,
    and I will shake the house of Israel
    among all the nations
  as grain is shaken in a sieve,
    and not a pebble will reach the ground.

  All the sinners among my people
    will die by the sword,
  all those who say,
    `Disaster will not overtake or meet us.'

  "In that day I will restore
    David's fallen tent.
  I will repair its broken places,
    restore its ruins,
    and build it as it used to be,

  so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations that bear my name, "
        declares the LORD, who will do these things.

    "The days are coming," declares the LORD,

  "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
    and the planter by the one treading grapes.
  New wine will drip from the mountains
    and flow from all the hills.

  I will bring back my exiled people Israel;
    they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
  They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
    they will make gardens and eat their fruit.

  I will plant Israel in their own land,
    never again to be uprooted
    from the land I have given them,"

        says the LORD your God.


Chapter 1

 An oracle: The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.
    "I have loved you," says the LORD.
    "But you ask, `How have you loved us?'
    "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals."

    Edom may say, "Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins."
    But this is what the LORD Almighty says: "They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. You will see it with your own eyes and say, `Great is the LORD--even beyond the borders of Israel!'

    "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.
    "But you ask, `How have we shown contempt for your name?'

    "You place defiled food on my altar.
    "But you ask, `How have we defiled you?'
    "By saying that the LORD's table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?" says the LORD Almighty.

    "Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?"--says the LORD Almighty.

     "Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands. My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.

    "But you profane it by saying of the Lord's table, `It is defiled,' and of its food, `It is contemptible.' And you say, `What a burden!' and you sniff at it contemptuously," says the LORD Almighty.
    "When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?" says the LORD. "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and my name is to be feared among the nations.

Chapter 2

    "And now this admonition is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.

    "Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will spread on your faces the offal from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. And you will know that I have sent you this admonition so that my covenant with Levi may continue," says the LORD Almighty. "My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.

    "For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction--because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi," says the LORD Almighty. "So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law."

    Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?

    Judah has broken faith. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the LORD loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign god.  As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the LORD cut him off from the tents of Jacob--even though he brings offerings to the LORD Almighty.

     Another thing you do: You flood the LORD's altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

    Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

    "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty.
    So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

    You have wearied the LORD with your words.
    "How have we wearied him?" you ask.
    By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?"

Chapter 3

    "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

    But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

    "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

    "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty.
    "But you ask, `How are we to return?'

    "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
    "But you ask, `How do we rob you?'
    "In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.

    "You have said harsh things against me," says the LORD.
    "Yet you ask, `What have we said against you?'

    "You have said, `It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.' "

    Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

    "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

Chapter 4

    "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says the LORD Almighty.

    "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

    "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."


The book of Hosea

Chapter 1
   The word of the LORD that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel:

    When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

    Then the LORD said to Hosea, "Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. In that day I will break Israel's bow in the Valley of Jezreel."

    Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, "Call her Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them. Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them--not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD their God."

    After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. Then the LORD said, "Call him Lo-Ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

    "Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, `You are not my people,' they will be called `sons of the living God.' The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited, and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

Chapter 2

    "Say of your brothers, `My people,' and of your sisters, `My loved one.'

  "Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
    for she is not my wife,
    and I am not her husband.
  Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
    and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.

  Otherwise I will strip her naked
    and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
  I will make her like a desert,
    turn her into a parched land,
    and slay her with thirst.

  I will not show my love to her children,
    because they are the children of adultery.

  Their mother has been unfaithful
    and has conceived them in disgrace.
  She said, `I will go after my lovers,
    who give me my food and my water,
    my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.'

  Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
    I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.

  She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
    she will look for them but not find them.
  Then she will say,
    `I will go back to my husband as at first,
    for then I was better off than now.'

  She has not acknowledged that I was the one
    who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
  who lavished on her the silver and gold--
    which they used for Baal.

  "Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
    and my new wine when it is ready.
  I will take back my wool and my linen,
    intended to cover her nakedness.

  So now I will expose her lewdness
    before the eyes of her lovers;
    no one will take her out of my hands.

  I will stop all her celebrations:
    her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
    her Sabbath days--all her appointed feasts.

  I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
    which she said were her pay from her lovers;
  I will make them a thicket,
    and wild animals will devour them.

  I will punish her for the days
    she burned incense to the Baals;
  she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers,
    but me she forgot,"
        declares the LORD.

  "Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the desert
    and speak tenderly to her.

  There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
  There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

  "In that day," declares the LORD,
    "you will call me `my husband';
    you will no longer call me `my master. '

  I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
    no longer will their names be invoked.

  In that day I will make a covenant for them
    with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air
    and the creatures that move along the ground.
  Bow and sword and battle
    I will abolish from the land,
    so that all may lie down in safety.

  I will betroth you to me forever;
    I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
    in love and compassion.

  I will betroth you in faithfulness,
    and you will acknowledge the LORD.

  "In that day I will respond,"
    declares the LORD--
  "I will respond to the skies,
    and they will respond to the earth;

  and the earth will respond to the grain,
    the new wine and oil,
    and they will respond to Jezreel.

  I will plant her for myself in the land;
    I will show my love to the one I called `Not my loved one. '
  I will say to those called `Not my people, ' `You are my people';
    and they will say, `You are my God.' "

Chapter 3

    The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes."

    So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, "You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you."

    For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.

Chapter 4

      Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites,
    because the LORD has a charge to bring
    against you who live in the land:
  "There is no faithfulness, no love,
    no acknowledgment of God in the land.

  There is only cursing, lying and murder,
    stealing and adultery;
  they break all bounds,
    and bloodshed follows bloodshed.

  Because of this the land mourns,
    and all who live in it waste away;
  the beasts of the field and the birds of the air
    and the fish of the sea are dying.

  "But let no man bring a charge,
    let no man accuse another,
  for your people are like those
    who bring charges against a priest.

  You stumble day and night,
    and the prophets stumble with you.
  So I will destroy your mother--

    my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

  "Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
  because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.

  The more the priests increased,
    the more they sinned against me;
    they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful.

  They feed on the sins of my people
    and relish their wickedness.

  And it will be: Like people, like priests.
    I will punish both of them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.

  "They will eat but not have enough;
    they will engage in prostitution but not increase,
  because they have deserted the LORD
    to give themselves to prostitution,
  to old wine and new,
    which take away the understanding of my people.
  They consult a wooden idol
    and are answered by a stick of wood.
  A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
    they are unfaithful to their God.

  They sacrifice on the mountaintops
    and burn offerings on the hills,
  under oak, poplar and terebinth,
    where the shade is pleasant.
  Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
    and your daughters-in-law to adultery.

  "I will not punish your daughters
    when they turn to prostitution,
  nor your daughters-in-law
    when they commit adultery,
  because the men themselves consort with harlots
    and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes--
    a people without understanding will come to ruin!

  "Though you commit adultery, O Israel,
    let not Judah become guilty.

  "Do not go to Gilgal;
    do not go up to Beth Aven.
    And do not swear, `As surely as the LORD lives!'

  The Israelites are stubborn,
    like a stubborn heifer.
  How then can the LORD pasture them
    like lambs in a meadow?

  Ephraim is joined to idols;
    leave him alone!

  Even when their drinks are gone,
    they continue their prostitution;
    their rulers dearly love shameful ways.

  A whirlwind will sweep them away,
    and their sacrifices will bring them shame.

Chapter 5

  "Hear this, you priests!
    Pay attention, you Israelites!
  Listen, O royal house!
    This judgment is against you:
  You have been a snare at Mizpah,
    a net spread out on Tabor.

  The rebels are deep in slaughter.
    I will discipline all of them.

  I know all about Ephraim;
    Israel is not hidden from me.
  Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution;
    Israel is corrupt.

  "Their deeds do not permit them
    to return to their God.
  A spirit of prostitution is in their heart;
    they do not acknowledge the LORD.

  Israel's arrogance testifies against them;
    the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin;
    Judah also stumbles with them.

  When they go with their flocks and herds
    to seek the LORD,
  they will not find him;
    he has withdrawn himself from them.

  They are unfaithful to the LORD;
    they give birth to illegitimate children.
  Now their New Moon festivals
    will devour them and their fields.

  "Sound the trumpet in Gibeah,
    the horn in Ramah.
  Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven;
    lead on, O Benjamin.

  Ephraim will be laid waste
    on the day of reckoning.
  Among the tribes of Israel
    I proclaim what is certain.

  Judah's leaders are like those
    who move boundary stones.
  I will pour out my wrath on them
    like a flood of water.

  Ephraim is oppressed,
    trampled in judgment,
    intent on pursuing idols.

  I am like a moth to Ephraim,
    like rot to the people of Judah.

  "When Ephraim saw his sickness,
    and Judah his sores,
  then Ephraim turned to Assyria,
    and sent to the great king for help.
  But he is not able to cure you,
    not able to heal your sores.

  For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
    like a great lion to Judah.
  I will tear them to pieces and go away;
    I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.

  Then I will go back to my place
    until they admit their guilt.
  And they will seek my face;
    in their misery they will earnestly seek me."

Chapter 6

  "Come, let us return to the LORD.
  He has torn us to pieces
    but he will heal us;
  he has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds.

  After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will restore us,
    that we may live in his presence.

  Let us acknowledge the LORD;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
  As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
  he will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth."

  "What can I do with you, Ephraim?
    What can I do with you, Judah?
  Your love is like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears.

  Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
    I killed you with the words of my mouth;
    my judgments flashed like lightning upon you.

  For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
    and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

  Like Adam, they have broken the covenant--
    they were unfaithful to me there.

  Gilead is a city of wicked men,
    stained with footprints of blood.

  As marauders lie in ambush for a man,
    so do bands of priests;
  they murder on the road to Shechem,
    committing shameful crimes.

  I have seen a horrible thing
    in the house of Israel.
  There Ephraim is given to prostitution
    and Israel is defiled.

  "Also for you, Judah,
    a harvest is appointed.

Chapter 7

  "Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,

    whenever I would heal Israel,
  the sins of Ephraim are exposed
    and the crimes of Samaria revealed.
  They practice deceit,
    thieves break into houses,
    bandits rob in the streets;

  but they do not realize
    that I remember all their evil deeds.
  Their sins engulf them;
    they are always before me.

  "They delight the king with their wickedness,
    the princes with their lies.

  They are all adulterers,
    burning like an oven
  whose fire the baker need not stir
    from the kneading of the dough till it rises.

  On the day of the festival of our king
    the princes become inflamed with wine,
    and he joins hands with the mockers.

  Their hearts are like an oven;
    they approach him with intrigue.
  Their passion smolders all night;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.

  All of them are hot as an oven;
    they devour their rulers.
  All their kings fall,
    and none of them calls on me.

  "Ephraim mixes with the nations;
    Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over.

  Foreigners sap his strength,
    but he does not realize it.
  His hair is sprinkled with gray,
    but he does not notice.

  Israel's arrogance testifies against him,
    but despite all this
  he does not return to the LORD his God
    or search for him.

  "Ephraim is like a dove,
    easily deceived and senseless--
  now calling to Egypt,
    now turning to Assyria.

  When they go, I will throw my net over them;
    I will pull them down like birds of the air.
  When I hear them flocking together,
    I will catch them.

  Woe to them,
    because they have strayed from me!
  Destruction to them,
    because they have rebelled against me!
  I long to redeem them
    but they speak lies against me.

  They do not cry out to me from their hearts
    but wail upon their beds.
  They gather together for grain and new wine
    but turn away from me.

  I trained them and strengthened them,
    but they plot evil against me.

  They do not turn to the Most High;
    they are like a faulty bow.
  Their leaders will fall by the sword
    because of their insolent words.
  For this they will be ridiculed
    in the land of Egypt.

Chapter 8

  "Put the trumpet to your lips!
    An eagle is over the house of the LORD
  because the people have broken my covenant
    and rebelled against my law.

  Israel cries out to me,
    `O our God, we acknowledge you!'

  But Israel has rejected what is good;
    an enemy will pursue him.

  They set up kings without my consent;
    they choose princes without my approval.
  With their silver and gold
    they make idols for themselves
    to their own destruction.

  Throw out your calf-idol, O Samaria!
    My anger burns against them.
  How long will they be incapable of purity?

    They are from Israel!
  This calf--a craftsman has made it;
    it is not God.
  It will be broken in pieces,
    that calf of Samaria.

  "They sow the wind
    and reap the whirlwind.
  The stalk has no head;
    it will produce no flour.
  Were it to yield grain,
    foreigners would swallow it up.

  Israel is swallowed up;
    now she is among the nations
    like a worthless thing.

  For they have gone up to Assyria
    like a wild donkey wandering alone.
    Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.

  Although they have sold themselves among the nations,
    I will now gather them together.
  They will begin to waste away
    under the oppression of the mighty king.

  "Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings,
    these have become altars for sinning.

  I wrote for them the many things of my law,
    but they regarded them as something alien.

 They offer sacrifices given to me
    and they eat the meat,
    but the LORD is not pleased with them.
  Now he will remember their wickedness
    and punish their sins:
    They will return to Egypt.

  Israel has forgotten his Maker
    and built palaces;
    Judah has fortified many towns.
  But I will send fire upon their cities
    that will consume their fortresses."

Chapter 9

  Do not rejoice, O Israel (America);
    do not be jubilant like the other nations.
  For you have been unfaithful to your God;
    you love the wages of a prostitute
    at every threshing floor.

  Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people;
    the new wine will fail them.

  They will not remain in the LORD's land;
    Ephraim will return to Egypt
    and eat unclean food in Assyria.

  They will not pour out wine offerings to the LORD,
    nor will their sacrifices please him.
  Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners;
    all who eat them will be unclean.
  This food will be for themselves;
    it will not come into the temple of the LORD.

  What will you do on the day of your appointed feasts,
    on the festival days of the LORD?

  Even if they escape from destruction,
    Egypt will gather them,
    and Memphis will bury them.
  Their treasures of silver will be taken over by briers,
    and thorns will overrun their tents.

  The days of punishment are coming,
    the days of reckoning are at hand.
    Let Israel know this.
  Because your sins are so many
    and your hostility so great,
  the prophet is considered a fool,
    the inspired man a maniac.

  The prophet, along with my God,
    is the watchman over Ephraim,
  yet snares await him on all his paths,
    and hostility in the house of his God.

  They have sunk deep into corruption,
    as in the days of Gibeah.
  God will remember their wickedness
    and punish them for their sins.

  "When I found Israel,
    it was like finding grapes in the desert;
  when I saw your fathers,
    it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree.
  But when they came to Baal Peor,
    they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol
    and became as vile as the thing they loved.

  Ephraim's glory will fly away like a bird--
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.

  Even if they rear children,
    I will bereave them of every one.
  Woe to them
    when I turn away from them!

  I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre,
    planted in a pleasant place.
  But Ephraim will bring out
    their children to the slayer."

  Give them, O LORD--
    what will you give them?
  Give them wombs that miscarry
    and breasts that are dry.

  "Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal,
    I hated them there.
  Because of their sinful deeds,
    I will drive them out of my house.
  I will no longer love them;
    all their leaders are rebellious.

  Ephraim is blighted,
    their root is withered,
    they yield no fruit.
  Even if they bear children,
    I will slay their cherished offspring."

  My God will reject them
    because they have not obeyed him;
    they will be wanderers among the nations.

Chapter 10

  Israel was a spreading vine;
    he brought forth fruit for himself.
  As his fruit increased,
    he built more altars;
  as his land prospered,
    he adorned his sacred stones.

  Their heart is deceitful,
    and now they must bear their guilt.
  The LORD will demolish their altars
    and destroy their sacred stones.

  Then they will say, "We have no king
    because we did not revere the LORD.
  But even if we had a king,
    what could he do for us?"

  They make many promises,
    take false oaths
    and make agreements;
  therefore lawsuits spring up
    like poisonous weeds in a plowed field.

  The people who live in Samaria fear
    for the calf-idol of Beth Aven.
  Its people will mourn over it,
    and so will its idolatrous priests,
  those who had rejoiced over its splendor,
    because it is taken from them into exile.

  It will be carried to Assyria
    as tribute for the great king.
  Ephraim will be disgraced;
    Israel will be ashamed of its wooden idols.

  Samaria and its king will float away
    like a twig on the surface of the waters.

  The high places of wickedness will be destroyed--
    it is the sin of Israel.
  Thorns and thistles will grow up
    and cover their altars.
  Then they will say to the mountains, "Cover us!"
    and to the hills, "Fall on us!"

  "Since the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel,
    and there you have remained.
  Did not war overtake
    the evildoers in Gibeah?

  When I please, I will punish them;
    nations will be gathered against them
    to put them in bonds for their double sin.

  Ephraim is a trained heifer
    that loves to thresh;
  so I will put a yoke
    on her fair neck.
  I will drive Ephraim,
    Judah must plow,
    and Jacob must break up the ground.

  Sow for yourselves righteousness,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
  and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the LORD,
  until he comes
    and showers righteousness on you.

  But you have planted wickedness,
    you have reaped evil,
    you have eaten the fruit of deception.
  Because you have depended on your own strength
    and on your many warriors,

  the roar of battle will rise against your people,
    so that all your fortresses will be devastated--
  as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
    when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.

  Thus will it happen to you, O Bethel,
    because your wickedness is great.
  When that day dawns,
    the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.

Chapter 11

  "When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.

  But the more I called Israel,
    the further they went from me.
  They sacrificed to the Baals
    and they burned incense to images.

  It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    taking them by the arms;
  but they did not realize
    it was I who healed them.

  I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love;
  I lifted the yoke from their neck
    and bent down to feed them.

  "Will they not return to Egypt
    and will not Assyria rule over them
    because they refuse to repent?

  Swords will flash in their cities,
    will destroy the bars of their gates
    and put an end to their plans.

  My people are determined to turn from me.
    Even if they call to the Most High,
    he will by no means exalt them.

  "How can I give you up, Ephraim?
    How can I hand you over, Israel?
  How can I treat you like Admah?
    How can I make you like Zeboiim?
  My heart is changed within me;
    all my compassion is aroused.

  I will not carry out my fierce anger,
    nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim.
  For I am God, and not man--
    the Holy One among you.
    I will not come in wrath.

  They will follow the LORD;
    he will roar like a lion.
  When he roars,
    his children will come trembling from the west.

  They will come trembling
    like birds from Egypt,
    like doves from Assyria.
  I will settle them in their homes,"
    declares the LORD.

  Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
    the house of Israel with deceit.
  And Judah is unruly against God,
    even against the faithful Holy One.

Chapter 12

  Ephraim feeds on the wind;
    he pursues the east wind all day
    and multiplies lies and violence.
  He makes a treaty with Assyria
    and sends olive oil to Egypt.

  The LORD has a charge to bring against Judah;
    he will punish Jacob according to his ways
    and repay him according to his deeds.

  In the womb he grasped his brother's heel;
    as a man he struggled with God.

  He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
    he wept and begged for his favor.
  He found him at Bethel
    and talked with him there--

  the LORD God Almighty,
    the LORD is his name of renown!

  But you must return to your God;
    maintain love and justice,
    and wait for your God always.

  The merchant uses dishonest scales;
    he loves to defraud.

  Ephraim boasts,
    "I am very rich; I have become wealthy.
  With all my wealth they will not find in me
    any iniquity or sin."

  "I am the LORD your God,
    who brought you out of Egypt;
  I will make you live in tents again,
    as in the days of your appointed feasts.

  I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables through them."

  Is Gilead wicked?
    Its people are worthless!
  Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
    Their altars will be like piles of stones
    on a plowed field.

  Jacob fled to the country of Aram;
    Israel served to get a wife,
    and to pay for her he tended sheep.

  The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
    by a prophet he cared for him.

  But Ephraim has bitterly provoked him to anger;
    his Lord will leave upon him the guilt of his bloodshed
    and will repay him for his contempt.

Chapter 13

  When Ephraim spoke, men trembled;
    he was exalted in Israel.
    But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.

  Now they sin more and more;
    they make idols for themselves from their silver,
  cleverly fashioned images,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.
  It is said of these people,
    "They offer human sacrifice
    and kiss the calf-idols."

  Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears,
    like chaff swirling from a threshing floor,
    like smoke escaping through a window.

  "But I am the LORD your God,
    who brought you out of Egypt.
  You shall acknowledge no God but me,
    no Savior except me.

  I cared for you in the desert,
    in the land of burning heat.

  When I fed them, they were satisfied;
    when they were satisfied, they became proud;
    then they forgot me.

  So I will come upon them like a lion,
    like a leopard I will lurk by the path.

  Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
    I will attack them and rip them open.
  Like a lion I will devour them;
    a wild animal will tear them apart.

  "You are destroyed, O Israel,
    because you are against me, against your helper.

  Where is your king, that he may save you?
    Where are your rulers in all your towns,
  of whom you said,
    `Give me a king and princes'?

  So in my anger I gave you a king,
    and in my wrath I took him away.

  The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,
    his sins are kept on record.

  Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him,
    but he is a child without wisdom;
  when the time arrives,
    he does not come to the opening of the womb.

  "I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
    I will redeem them from death.
  Where, O death, are your plagues?
    Where, O grave, is your destruction?

  "I will have no compassion,

    even though he thrives among his brothers.
  An east wind from the LORD will come,
    blowing in from the desert;
  his spring will fail
    and his well dry up.
  His storehouse will be plundered
    of all its treasures.

  The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
    because they have rebelled against their God.
  They will fall by the sword;
    their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
    their pregnant women ripped open."

Chapter 14

  Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God.
    Your sins have been your downfall!

  Take words with you
    and return to the LORD.
  Say to him:
    "Forgive all our sins
  and receive us graciously,
    that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

  Assyria cannot save us;
    we will not mount war-horses.
  We will never again say `Our gods'
    to what our own hands have made,
    for in you the fatherless find compassion."

  "I will heal their waywardness
    and love them freely,
    for my anger has turned away from them.

  I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he will blossom like a lily.
  Like a cedar of Lebanon
    he will send down his roots;

    his young shoots will grow.
  His splendor will be like an olive tree,
    his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.

  Men will dwell again in his shade.
    He will flourish like the grain.
  He will blossom like a vine,
    and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.

  O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols?
    I will answer him and care for him.
  I am like a green pine tree;
    your fruitfulness comes from me."

  Who is wise? He will realize these things.
    Who is discerning? He will understand them.
  The ways of the LORD are right;
    the righteous walk in them,
    but the rebellious stumble in them.


The Book of Joel
Chapter 1

    The word of the LORD that came to Joel son of Pethuel.

  Hear this, you elders;
    listen, all who live in the land.
  Has anything like this ever happened in your days
    or in the days of your forefathers?

  Tell it to your children,
    and let your children tell it to their children,
    and their children to the next generation.

  What the locust swarm has left
    the great locusts have eaten;
  what the great locusts have left
    the young locusts have eaten;
  what the young locusts have left
    other locusts have eaten.

  Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
    Wail, all you drinkers of wine;
  wail because of the new wine,
    for it has been snatched from your lips.

  A nation has invaded my land,
    powerful and without number;
  it has the teeth of a lion,
    the fangs of a lioness.

  It has laid waste my vines
    and ruined my fig trees.
  It has stripped off their bark
    and thrown it away,
    leaving their branches white.

  Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth
    grieving for the husband of her youth.

  Grain offerings and drink offerings
    are cut off from the house of the LORD.
  The priests are in mourning,
    those who minister before the LORD.

  The fields are ruined,
    the ground is dried up;
  the grain is destroyed,
    the new wine is dried up,
    the oil fails.

  Despair, you farmers,
    wail, you vine growers;
  grieve for the wheat and the barley,
    because the harvest of the field is destroyed.

  The vine is dried up
    and the fig tree is withered;
  the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree--
    all the trees of the field--are dried up.
  Surely the joy of mankind
    is withered away.

  Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn;
    wail, you who minister before the altar.
  Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
    you who minister before my God;
  for the grain offerings and drink offerings
    are withheld from the house of your God.

  Declare a holy fast;
    call a sacred assembly.
  Summon the elders
    and all who live in the land
  to the house of the LORD your God,
    and cry out to the LORD.

  Alas for that day!
    For the day of the LORD is near;
    it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

  Has not the food been cut off
    before our very eyes--
  joy and gladness
    from the house of our God?

  The seeds are shriveled
    beneath the clods.
  The storehouses are in ruins,
    the granaries have been broken down,
    for the grain has dried up.

  How the cattle moan!
    The herds mill about
  because they have no pasture;
    even the flocks of sheep are suffering.

  To you, O LORD, I call,
    for fire has devoured the open pastures
    and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.

  Even the wild animals pant for you;
    the streams of water have dried up
    and fire has devoured the open pastures.

Chapter 2

  Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sound the alarm on my holy hill.
  Let all who live in the land tremble,
    for the day of the LORD is coming.
  It is close at hand--

    a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and blackness.
  Like dawn spreading across the mountains
    a large and mighty army comes,
  such as never was of old
    nor ever will be in ages to come.

  Before them fire devours,
    behind them a flame blazes.
  Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,
    behind them, a desert waste--
    nothing escapes them.

  They have the appearance of horses;
    they gallop along like cavalry.

  With a noise like that of chariots
    they leap over the mountaintops,
  like a crackling fire consuming stubble,
    like a mighty army drawn up for battle.

  At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
    every face turns pale.

  They charge like warriors;
    they scale walls like soldiers.
  They all march in line,
    not swerving from their course.

  They do not jostle each other;
    each marches straight ahead.
  They plunge through defenses
    without breaking ranks.

  They rush upon the city;
    they run along the wall.
  They climb into the houses;
    like thieves they enter through the windows.

  Before them the earth shakes,
    the sky trembles,
  the sun and moon are darkened,
    and the stars no longer shine.

  The LORD thunders
    at the head of his army;
  his forces are beyond number,
    and mighty are those who obey his command.
  The day of the LORD is great;
    it is dreadful.
    Who can endure it?

  "Even now," declares the LORD,
    "return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting and weeping and mourning."

  Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
  Return to the LORD your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
  slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity.

  Who knows? He may turn and have pity
    and leave behind a blessing--
  grain offerings and drink offerings
    for the LORD your God.

  Blow the trumpet in Zion,
    declare a holy fast,
    call a sacred assembly.

  Gather the people,
    consecrate the assembly;
  bring together the elders,
    gather the children,
    those nursing at the breast.
  Let the bridegroom leave his room
    and the bride her chamber.

  Let the priests, who minister before the LORD,
    weep between the temple porch and the altar.
  Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD.
    Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
    a byword among the nations.
  Why should they say among the peoples,
    `Where is their God?' "

  Then the LORD will be jealous for his land
    and take pity on his people.

    The LORD will reply to them:
  "I am sending you grain, new wine and oil,
    enough to satisfy you fully;
  never again will I make you
    an object of scorn to the nations.

  "I will drive the northern army far from you,
    pushing it into a parched and barren land,
  with its front columns going into the eastern sea
    and those in the rear into the western sea.
  And its stench will go up;
    its smell will rise."

  Surely he has done great things.

    Be not afraid, O land;
    be glad and rejoice.
  Surely the LORD has done great things.

    Be not afraid, O wild animals,
    for the open pastures are becoming green.
  The trees are bearing their fruit;
    the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.

  Be glad, O people of Zion,
    rejoice in the LORD your God,
  for he has given you
    the autumn rains in righteousness.
  He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before.

  The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
    the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

  "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm--
  my great army that I sent among you.

  You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
  never again will my people be shamed.

  Then you will know that I am in Israel,
    that I am the LORD your God,
    and that there is no other;
  never again will my people be shamed.

  "And afterward,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
  Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.

  Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

  I will show wonders in the heavens
    and on the earth,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.

  The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

  And everyone who calls
    on the name of the LORD will be saved;
  for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be deliverance,
    as the LORD has said,
  among the survivors
    whom the LORD calls.

Chapter 3

  "In those days and at that time,
    when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

  I will gather all nations
    and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
  There I will enter into judgment against them
    concerning my inheritance, my people Israel,
  for they scattered my people among the nations
    and divided up my land.

  They cast lots for my people
    and traded boys for prostitutes;
  they sold girls for wine
    that they might drink.

    "Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.

    "See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done.  I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away." The LORD has spoken.

  Proclaim this among the nations:
    Prepare for war!
  Rouse the warriors!
    Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.

  Beat your plowshares into swords
    and your pruning hooks into spears.
  Let the weakling say,
    "I am strong!"

  Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
    and assemble there.

  Bring down your warriors, O LORD!

  "Let the nations be roused;
    let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
  for there I will sit
    to judge all the nations on every side.

  Swing the sickle,
    for the harvest is ripe.
  Come, trample the grapes,
    for the winepress is full
    and the vats overflow--
  so great is their wickedness!"

  Multitudes, multitudes
    in the valley of decision!
  For the day of the LORD is near
    in the valley of decision.

  The sun and moon will be darkened,
    and the stars no longer shine.

  The LORD will roar from Zion
    and thunder from Jerusalem;
    the earth and the sky will tremble.
  But the LORD will be a refuge for his people,
    a stronghold for the people of Israel.

  "Then you will know that I, the LORD your God,
    dwell in Zion, my holy hill.
  Jerusalem will be holy;
    never again will foreigners invade her.

  "In that day the mountains will drip new wine,
    and the hills will flow with milk;
    all the ravines of Judah will run with water.
  A fountain will flow out of the LORD's house
    and will water the valley of acacias.

  But Egypt will be desolate,
    Edom a desert waste,
  because of violence done to the people of Judah,
    in whose land they shed innocent blood.

  Judah will be inhabited forever
    and Jerusalem through all generations.

  Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned,
    I will pardon."

      The LORD dwells in Zion!


The book of Obadiah

The vision of Obadiah.

    This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom--

  We have heard a message from the LORD:
    An envoy was sent to the nations to say,
  "Rise, and let us go against her for battle"--

  "See, I will make you small among the nations;
    you will be utterly despised.

  The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rocks
    and make your home on the heights,
  you who say to yourself,
    `Who can bring me down to the ground?'

  Though you soar like the eagle
    and make your nest among the stars,
    from there I will bring you down,"
        declares the LORD.

  "If thieves came to you,
    if robbers in the night--
  Oh, what a disaster awaits you--
    would they not steal only as much as they wanted?
  If grape pickers came to you,
    would they not leave a few grapes?

  But how Esau will be ransacked,
    his hidden treasures pillaged!

  All your allies will force you to the border;
    your friends will deceive and overpower you;
  those who eat your bread will set a trap for you,
    but you will not detect it.

  "In that day," declares the LORD,
    "will I not destroy the wise men of Edom,
    men of understanding in the mountains of Esau?

  Your warriors, O Teman, will be terrified,
    and everyone in Esau's mountains
    will be cut down in the slaughter.

  Because of the violence against your brother Jacob,
    you will be covered with shame;
    you will be destroyed forever.

  On the day you stood aloof
    while strangers carried off his wealth
  and foreigners entered his gates
    and cast lots for Jerusalem,
    you were like one of them.

  You should not look down on your brother
    in the day of his misfortune,
  nor rejoice over the people of Judah
    in the day of their destruction,
  nor boast so much
    in the day of their trouble.

  You should not march through the gates of my people
    in the day of their disaster,
  nor look down on them in their calamity
    in the day of their disaster,
  nor seize their wealth
    in the day of their disaster.

  You should not wait at the crossroads
    to cut down their fugitives,
  nor hand over their survivors
    in the day of their trouble.

  "The day of the LORD is near
    for all nations.
  As you have done, it will be done to you;
    your deeds will return upon your own head.

  Just as you drank on my holy hill,
    so all the nations will drink continually;
  they will drink and drink
    and be as if they had never been.

  But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;
    it will be holy,
  and the house of Jacob
    will possess its inheritance.

  The house of Jacob will be a fire
    and the house of Joseph a flame;
  the house of Esau will be stubble,
    and they will set it on fire and consume it.
  There will be no survivors
    from the house of Esau."
        The LORD has spoken.

  People from the Negev will occupy
    the mountains of Esau,
  and people from the foothills will possess
    the land of the Philistines.
  They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria,
    and Benjamin will possess Gilead.

  This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan
    will possess the land as far as Zarephath;
  the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
    will possess the towns of the Negev.

  Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion
    to govern the mountains of Esau.
    And the kingdom will be the LORD's.

The book of Jonah

Chapter 1

    The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."

    But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.

    Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
    But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, "How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish."

    Then the sailors said to each other, "Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity." They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.

    So they asked him, "Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?"

    He answered, "I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land."

    This terrified them and they asked, "What have you done?" (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so.)

    The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?"

    "Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied, "and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you."

    Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the LORD, "O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased." Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.

    But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Chapter 2

    From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said:

  "In my distress I called to the LORD,
    and he answered me.
  From the depths of the grave I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.

  You hurled me into the deep,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
  all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.

  I said, `I have been banished
    from your sight;
  yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.'

  The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.

  To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
  But you brought my life up from the pit,
    O LORD my God.

  "When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, LORD,
  and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.

  "Those who cling to worthless idols
    forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

  But I, with a song of thanksgiving,
    will sacrifice to you.
  What I have vowed I will make good.
    Salvation comes from the LORD."

    And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Chapter 3

    Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."

    Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city--a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

    When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh:

    "By the decree of the king and his nobles:

    Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."

    When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

Chapter 4

   But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."

    But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

    Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."

    But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?"
    "I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die."

    But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"


The book of Micah
Chapter 1

    The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah--the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

  Hear, O peoples, all of you,
    listen, O earth and all who are in it,
  that the Sovereign LORD may witness against you,
    the Lord from his holy temple.

  Look! The LORD is coming from his dwelling place;
    he comes down and treads the high places of the earth.

  The mountains melt beneath him
    and the valleys split apart,
  like wax before the fire,
    like water rushing down a slope.

  All this is because of Jacob's transgression,
    because of the sins of the house of Israel.
  What is Jacob's transgression?
    Is it not Samaria?
  What is Judah's high place?
    Is it not Jerusalem?

  "Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,
    a place for planting vineyards.
  I will pour her stones into the valley
    and lay bare her foundations.

  All her idols will be broken to pieces;
    all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;
    I will destroy all her images.
  Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,
    as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used."

  Because of this I will weep and wail;
    I will go about barefoot and naked.
  I will howl like a jackal
    and moan like an owl.

  For her wound is incurable;
    it has come to Judah.
  It has reached the very gate of my people,
    even to Jerusalem itself.

  Tell it not in Gath;
    weep not at all.
  In Beth Ophrah
    roll in the dust.

  Pass on in nakedness and shame,
    you who live in Shaphir.
  Those who live in Zaanan
    will not come out.
  Beth Ezel is in mourning;
    its protection is taken from you.

  Those who live in Maroth writhe in pain,
    waiting for relief,
  because disaster has come from the LORD,
    even to the gate of Jerusalem.

  You who live in Lachish,
    harness the team to the chariot.
  You were the beginning of sin
    to the Daughter of Zion,
  for the transgressions of Israel
    were found in you.

  Therefore you will give parting gifts
    to Moresheth Gath.
  The town of Aczib will prove deceptive
    to the kings of Israel.

  I will bring a conqueror against you
    who live in Mareshah.
  He who is the glory of Israel
    will come to Adullam.

  Shave your heads in mourning
    for the children in whom you delight;
  make yourselves as bald as the vulture,
    for they will go from you into exile.

Chapter 2

  Woe to those who plan iniquity,
    to those who plot evil on their beds!
  At morning's light they carry it out
    because it is in their power to do it.

  They covet fields and seize them,
    and houses, and take them.
  They defraud a man of his home,
    a fellowman of his inheritance.

    Therefore, the LORD says:

  "I am planning disaster against this people,
    from which you cannot save yourselves.
  You will no longer walk proudly,
    for it will be a time of calamity.

  In that day men will ridicule you;
    they will taunt you with this mournful song:
  `We are utterly ruined;
    my people's possession is divided up.
  He takes it from me!
    He assigns our fields to traitors.' "

  Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the LORD
    to divide the land by lot.

  "Do not prophesy," their prophets say.
    "Do not prophesy about these things;
    disgrace will not overtake us."

  Should it be said, O house of Jacob:
    "Is the Spirit of the LORD angry?
    Does he do such things?"

  "Do not my words do good
    to him whose ways are upright?

  Lately my people have risen up
    like an enemy.
  You strip off the rich robe
    from those who pass by without a care,
    like men returning from battle.

  You drive the women of my people
    from their pleasant homes.
  You take away my blessing
    from their children forever.

  Get up, go away!
    For this is not your resting place,
  because it is defiled,
    it is ruined, beyond all remedy.

  If a liar and deceiver comes and says,
    `I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,'
    he would be just the prophet for this people!

  "I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
  I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.

  One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
    they will break through the gate and go out.
  Their king will pass through before them,
    the LORD at their head."

Chapter 3

    Then I said,

  "Listen, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of the house of Israel.
  Should you not know justice,

    you who hate good and love evil;
  who tear the skin from my people
    and the flesh from their bones;

  who eat my people's flesh,
    strip off their skin
    and break their bones in pieces;
  who chop them up like meat for the pan,
    like flesh for the pot?"

  Then they will cry out to the LORD,
    but he will not answer them.
  At that time he will hide his face from them
    because of the evil they have done.

    This is what the LORD says:
  "As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray,
  if one feeds them,
    they proclaim `peace';
  if he does not,
    they prepare to wage war against him.

  Therefore night will come over you, without visions,
    and darkness, without divination.
  The sun will set for the prophets,
    and the day will go dark for them.

  The seers will be ashamed
    and the diviners disgraced.
  They will all cover their faces
    because there is no answer from God."

  But as for me, I am filled with power,
    with the Spirit of the LORD,
    and with justice and might,
  to declare to Jacob his transgression,
    to Israel his sin.

  Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob,
    you rulers of the house of Israel,
  who despise justice
    and distort all that is right;

  who build Zion with bloodshed,
    and Jerusalem with wickedness.

  Her leaders judge for a bribe,
    her priests teach for a price,
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
  Yet they lean upon the LORD and say,
    "Is not the LORD among us?
    No disaster will come upon us."

  Therefore because of you,
    Zion will be plowed like a field,
  Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
    the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.

Chapter 4

    In the last days

  the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established
    as chief among the mountains;
  it will be raised above the hills,
    and peoples will stream to it.

    Many nations will come and say,

  "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
    to the house of the God of Jacob.
  He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths."
  The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

  He will judge between many peoples
    and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
  They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
  Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.

  Every man will sit under his own vine
    and under his own fig tree,
  and no one will make them afraid,
    for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

  All the nations may walk
    in the name of their gods;
  we will walk in the name of the LORD
    our God for ever and ever.

    "In that day," declares the LORD,

  "I will gather the lame;
    I will assemble the exiles
    and those I have brought to grief.

  I will make the lame a remnant,
    those driven away a strong nation.
  The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion
    from that day and forever.

  As for you, O watchtower of the flock,
    O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion,
  the former dominion will be restored to you;
    kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem."

  Why do you now cry aloud--
    have you no king?
  Has your counselor perished,
    that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?

  Writhe in agony, O Daughter of Zion,
    like a woman in labor,
  for now you must leave the city
    to camp in the open field.
  You will go to Babylon;
    there you will be rescued.
  There the LORD will redeem you
    out of the hand of your enemies.

  But now many nations
    are gathered against you.
  They say, "Let her be defiled,
    let our eyes gloat over Zion!"

  But they do not know
    the thoughts of the LORD;
  they do not understand his plan,
    he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor.

  "Rise and thresh, O Daughter of Zion,
    for I will give you horns of iron;
  I will give you hoofs of bronze
    and you will break to pieces many nations."

  You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the LORD,
    their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

Chapter 5

  Marshal your troops, O city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
  They will strike Israel's ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.

  "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
  out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
  whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times. "

  Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor gives birth
  and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

  He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the LORD,
    in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
  And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

    And he will be their peace.

  When the Assyrian invades our land
    and marches through our fortresses,
  we will raise against him seven shepherds,
    even eight leaders of men.

  They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword,
    the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.
  He will deliver us from the Assyrian
    when he invades our land
    and marches into our borders.

  The remnant of Jacob will be
    in the midst of many peoples
  like dew from the LORD,
    like showers on the grass,
  which do not wait for man
    or linger for mankind.

  The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
    in the midst of many peoples,
  like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
    like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
  which mauls and mangles as it goes,
    and no one can rescue.

  Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
    and all your foes will be destroyed.

    "In that day," declares the LORD,
  "I will destroy your horses from among you
    and demolish your chariots.

  I will destroy the cities of your land
    and tear down all your strongholds.

  I will destroy your witchcraft
    and you will no longer cast spells.

  I will destroy your carved images
    and your sacred stones from among you;
  you will no longer bow down
    to the work of your hands.

  I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles
    and demolish your cities.

  I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
    upon the nations that have not obeyed me."

Chapter 6

    Listen to what the LORD says:

  "Stand up, plead your case before the mountains;
    let the hills hear what you have to say.

  Hear, O mountains, the LORD's accusation;
    listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
  For the LORD has a case against his people;
    he is lodging a charge against Israel.

  "My people, what have I done to you?
    How have I burdened you? Answer me.

  I brought you up out of Egypt
    and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
  I sent Moses to lead you,
    also Aaron and Miriam.

  My people, remember
    what Balak king of Moab counseled
    and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
  Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
    that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."

  With what shall I come before the LORD
    and bow down before the exalted God?
  Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?

  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousand rivers of oil?
  Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

  He has showed you, O man, what is good.
    And what does the LORD require of you?
  To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

  Listen! The LORD is calling to the city--
    and to fear your name is wisdom--
    "Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.

  Am I still to forget, O wicked house,
    your ill-gotten treasures
    and the short ephah, which is accursed?

  Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales,
    with a bag of false weights?

  Her rich men are violent;
    her people are liars
    and their tongues speak deceitfully.

  Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
    to ruin you because of your sins.

  You will eat but not be satisfied;
    your stomach will still be empty.
  You will store up but save nothing,
    because what you save I will give to the sword.

  You will plant but not harvest;
    you will press olives but not use the oil on yourselves,
    you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.

  You have observed the statutes of Omri
    and all the practices of Ahab's house,
    and you have followed their traditions.
  Therefore I will give you over to ruin
    and your people to derision;
    you will bear the scorn of the nations. "

Chapter 7

  What misery is mine!
  I am like one who gathers summer fruit
    at the gleaning of the vineyard;
  there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
    none of the early figs that I crave.

  The godly have been swept from the land;
    not one upright man remains.
  All men lie in wait to shed blood;
    each hunts his brother with a net.

  Both hands are skilled in doing evil;
    the ruler demands gifts,
  the judge accepts bribes,
    the powerful dictate what they desire--
    they all conspire together.

  The best of them is like a brier,
    the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.
  The day of your watchmen has come,
    the day God visits you.
    Now is the time of their confusion.

  Do not trust a neighbor;
    put no confidence in a friend.
  Even with her who lies in your embrace
    be careful of your words.

  For a son dishonors his father,
    a daughter rises up against her mother,
  a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--
    a man's enemies are the members of his own household.

  But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.

  Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
    Though I have fallen, I will rise.
  Though I sit in darkness,
    the LORD will be my light.

  Because I have sinned against him,
    I will bear the LORD's wrath,
  until he pleads my case
    and establishes my right.
  He will bring me out into the light;
    I will see his righteousness.

  Then my enemy will see it
    and will be covered with shame,
  she who said to me,
    "Where is the LORD your God?"
  My eyes will see her downfall;
    even now she will be trampled underfoot
    like mire in the streets.

  The day for building your walls will come,
    the day for extending your boundaries.

  In that day people will come to you
    from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
  even from Egypt to the Euphrates
    and from sea to sea
    and from mountain to mountain.

  The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants,
    as the result of their deeds.

  Shepherd your people with your staff,
    the flock of your inheritance,
  which lives by itself in a forest,
    in fertile pasturelands.
  Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
    as in days long ago.

  "As in the days when you came out of Egypt,
    I will show them my wonders."

  Nations will see and be ashamed,
    deprived of all their power.
  They will lay their hands on their mouths
    and their ears will become deaf.

  They will lick dust like a snake,
    like creatures that crawl on the ground.
  They will come trembling out of their dens;
    they will turn in fear to the LORD our God
    and will be afraid of you.

  Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
  You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.

  You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

  You will be true to Jacob,
    and show mercy to Abraham,
  as you pledged on oath to our fathers
    in days long ago.

The book of Nahum
Chapter 1

    An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

  The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
    the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
  The LORD takes vengeance on his foes
    and maintains his wrath against his enemies.

  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power;
    the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.
  His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
    and clouds are the dust of his feet.

  He rebukes the sea and dries it up;
    he makes all the rivers run dry.
  Bashan and Carmel wither
    and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.

  The mountains quake before him
    and the hills melt away.
  The earth trembles at his presence,
    the world and all who live in it.

  Who can withstand his indignation?
    Who can endure his fierce anger?
  His wrath is poured out like fire;
    the rocks are shattered before him.

  The LORD is good,
    a refuge in times of trouble.
  He cares for those who trust in him,

    but with an overwhelming flood
  he will make an end of Nineveh;
    he will pursue his foes into darkness.

  Whatever they plot against the LORD
    he will bring to an end;
    trouble will not come a second time.

  They will be entangled among thorns
    and drunk from their wine;
    they will be consumed like dry stubble.

  From you, O Nineveh, has one come forth
    who plots evil against the LORD
    and counsels wickedness.

    This is what the LORD says:

  "Although they have allies and are numerous,
    they will be cut off and pass away.
  Although I have afflicted you, O Judah,
    I will afflict you no more.

  Now I will break their yoke from your neck
    and tear your shackles away."

  The LORD has given a command concerning you, Nineveh:
    "You will have no descendants to bear your name.
  I will destroy the carved images and cast idols
    that are in the temple of your gods.
  I will prepare your grave,
    for you are vile."

  Look, there on the mountains,
    the feet of one who brings good news,
    who proclaims peace!
  Celebrate your festivals, O Judah,
    and fulfill your vows.
  No more will the wicked invade you;
    they will be completely destroyed.

Chapter 2

  An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.
    Guard the fortress,
    watch the road,
    brace yourselves,
    marshal all your strength!

  The LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob
    like the splendor of Israel,
  though destroyers have laid them waste
    and have ruined their vines.

  The shields of his soldiers are red;
    the warriors are clad in scarlet.
  The metal on the chariots flashes
    on the day they are made ready;
    the spears of pine are brandished.

  The chariots storm through the streets,
    rushing back and forth through the squares.
  They look like flaming torches;
    they dart about like lightning.

  He summons his picked troops,
    yet they stumble on their way.
  They dash to the city wall;
    the protective shield is put in place.

  The river gates are thrown open
    and the palace collapses.

  It is decreed that the city
    be exiled and carried away.
  Its slave girls moan like doves
    and beat upon their breasts.

  Nineveh is like a pool,
    and its water is draining away.
  "Stop! Stop!" they cry,
    but no one turns back.

  Plunder the silver!
    Plunder the gold!
  The supply is endless,
    the wealth from all its treasures!

  She is pillaged, plundered, stripped!
    Hearts melt, knees give way,
    bodies tremble, every face grows pale.

  Where now is the lions' den,
    the place where they fed their young,
  where the lion and lioness went,
    and the cubs, with nothing to fear?

  The lion killed enough for his cubs
    and strangled the prey for his mate,
  filling his lairs with the kill
    and his dens with the prey.

  "I am against you,"
    declares the LORD Almighty.
  "I will burn up your chariots in smoke,
    and the sword will devour your young lions.
    I will leave you no prey on the earth.
  The voices of your messengers
    will no longer be heard."

Chapter 3

  Woe to the city of blood,
    full of lies,
  full of plunder,
    never without victims!

  The crack of whips,
    the clatter of wheels,
  galloping horses
    and jolting chariots!

  Charging cavalry,
    flashing swords
    and glittering spears!
  Many casualties,
    piles of dead,
  bodies without number,
    people stumbling over the corpses--

  all because of the wanton lust of a harlot,
    alluring, the mistress of sorceries,
  who enslaved nations by her prostitution
    and peoples by her witchcraft.

  "I am against you," declares the LORD Almighty.
    "I will lift your skirts over your face.
  I will show the nations your nakedness
    and the kingdoms your shame.

  I will pelt you with filth,
    I will treat you with contempt
    and make you a spectacle.

  All who see you will flee from you and say,
    `Nineveh is in ruins--who will mourn for her?'
    Where can I find anyone to comfort you?"

  Are you better than Thebes,
    situated on the Nile,
    with water around her?
  The river was her defense,
    the waters her wall.

  Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength;
    Put and Libya were among her allies.

  Yet she was taken captive
    and went into exile.
  Her infants were dashed to pieces
    at the head of every street.
  Lots were cast for her nobles,
    and all her great men were put in chains.

  You too will become drunk;
    you will go into hiding
    and seek refuge from the enemy.

  All your fortresses are like fig trees
    with their first ripe fruit;
  when they are shaken,
    the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.

  Look at your troops--
    they are all women!
  The gates of your land
    are wide open to your enemies;
    fire has consumed their bars.

  Draw water for the siege,
    strengthen your defenses!
  Work the clay,
    tread the mortar,
    repair the brickwork!

  There the fire will devour you;
    the sword will cut you down
    and, like grasshoppers, consume you.
  Multiply like grasshoppers,
    multiply like locusts!

  You have increased the number of your merchants
    till they are more than the stars of the sky,
  but like locusts they strip the land
    and then fly away.

  Your guards are like locusts,
    your officials like swarms of locusts
    that settle in the walls on a cold day--
  but when the sun appears they fly away,
    and no one knows where.

  O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber;
    your nobles lie down to rest.
  Your people are scattered on the mountains
    with no one to gather them.

  Nothing can heal your wound;
    your injury is fatal.
  Everyone who hears the news about you
    claps his hands at your fall,
  for who has not felt
    your endless cruelty?


The book of Haggai
Chapter 1

    In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:
    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, `The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.'"
    Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?"
    Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."
    Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.
    Then Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: "I am with you," declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.

Chapter 2

    On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: "Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, `Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? But now be strong, O Zerubbabel,' declares the LORD. `Be strong, O Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,' declares the LORD, `and work. For I am with you,' declares the LORD Almighty. `This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.'
    "This is what the LORD Almighty says: `In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the LORD Almighty. `The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty. `The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. `And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty."
    On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: `Ask the priests what the law says: If a person carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?' "
    The priests answered, "No."
    Then Haggai said, "If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?"
    "Yes," the priests replied, "it becomes defiled."
    Then Haggai said, " `So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,' declares the LORD. `Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
    " `Now give careful thought to this from this day on--consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD's temple. When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,' declares the LORD. `From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid. Give careful thought: Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
    " `From this day on I will bless you.' "
    The word of the LORD came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: "Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.
    " `On that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, `I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the LORD, `and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the LORD Almighty."


The book of Zechariah
Chapter 1

In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:

    "The LORD was very angry with your forefathers. Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: `Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, `and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty. Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the LORD Almighty says: `Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.' But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the LORD. Where are your forefathers now? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your forefathers?
    "Then they repented and said, `The LORD Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.' "

    On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.

    During the night I had a vision--and there before me was a man riding a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.

    I asked, "What are these, my lord?"
    The angel who was talking with me answered, "I will show you what they are."

    Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, "They are the ones the LORD has sent to go throughout the earth."

    And they reported to the angel of the LORD, who was standing among the myrtle trees, "We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace."

    Then the angel of the LORD said, "LORD Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?" So the LORD spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.

    Then the angel who was speaking to me said, "Proclaim this word: This is what the LORD Almighty says: `I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, but I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they added to the calamity.'

    "Therefore, this is what the LORD says: `I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,' declares the LORD Almighty.

    "Proclaim further: This is what the LORD Almighty says: `My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.' "

    Then I looked up--and there before me were four horns! I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these?"
    He answered me, "These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem."

    Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. I asked, "What are these coming to do?"
    He answered, "These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people."

Chapter 2

    Then I looked up--and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand! I asked, "Where are you going?"
    He answered me, "To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is."

    Then the angel who was speaking to me left, and another angel came to meet him and said to him: "Run, tell that young man, `Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,' declares the LORD, `and I will be its glory within.'

    "Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north," declares the LORD, "for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven," declares the LORD.

    "Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon!" For this is what the LORD Almighty says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you--for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-- I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.

    "Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."

Chapter 3

    Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

    Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes."
    Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."

    Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.

    The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: `If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

    " `Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, `and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.

    " `In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the LORD Almighty."

Chapter 4

    Then the angel who talked with me returned and wakened me, as a man is wakened from his sleep. He asked me, "What do you see?"
    I answered, "I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left."

    I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"

    He answered, "Do you not know what these are?"
    "No, my lord," I replied.

    So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: `Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

    "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of `God bless it! God bless it!' "

    Then the word of the LORD came to me: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.

    "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
    "(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)"

    Then I asked the angel, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?"

    Again I asked him, "What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?"

    He replied, "Do you not know what these are?"
    "No, my lord," I said.

    So he said, "These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth."

Chapter 5

    I looked again--and there before me was a flying scroll!

    He asked me, "What do you see?"
    I answered, "I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide. "

    And he said to me, "This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. The LORD Almighty declares, `I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.' "

    Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, "Look up and see what this is that is appearing."

    I asked, "What is it?"
    He replied, "It is a measuring basket. " And he added, "This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land."

    Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, "This is wickedness," and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth.

    Then I looked up--and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.

    "Where are they taking the basket?" I asked the angel who was speaking to me.

    He replied, "To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When it is ready, the basket will be set there in its place."

Chapter 6

    I looked up again--and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains--mountains of bronze! The first chariot had red horses, the second black, the third white, and the fourth dappled--all of them powerful. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these, my lord?"

    The angel answered me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south."

    When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, "Go throughout the earth!" So they went throughout the earth.

    Then he called to me, "Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north."

    The word of the LORD came to me: "Take silver and gold from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak.

  Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: `Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.' The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the LORD. Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the LORD, and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the LORD your God."

Chapter 7

    In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat the LORD by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets, "Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?"

    Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, `When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?' "

    And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: `Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'

    "But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.

    " `When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty. `I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.' "

Chapter 8

    Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her."

    This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there."

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?" declares the LORD Almighty.

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God."

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "You who now hear these words spoken by the prophets who were there when the foundation was laid for the house of the LORD Almighty, let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built. Before that time there were no wages for man or beast. No one could go about his business safely because of his enemy, for I had turned every man against his neighbor. But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past," declares the LORD Almighty.

    "The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people. As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Just as I had determined to bring disaster upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me," says the LORD Almighty, "so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid. These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this," declares the LORD.

    Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. This is what the LORD Almighty says: "The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace."

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, `Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.' And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."

    his is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, `Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.' "

Chapter 9

      An Oracle

    The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach
    and will rest upon Damascus--
  for the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel
    are on the LORD--

  and upon Hamath too, which borders on it,
    and upon Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.

  Tyre has built herself a stronghold;
    she has heaped up silver like dust,
    and gold like the dirt of the streets.

  But the Lord will take away her possessions
    and destroy her power on the sea,
    and she will be consumed by fire.

  Ashkelon will see it and fear;
    Gaza will writhe in agony,
    and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.
  Gaza will lose her king
    and Ashkelon will be deserted.

  Foreigners will occupy Ashdod,
    and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.

  I will take the blood from their mouths,
    the forbidden food from between their teeth.
  Those who are left will belong to our God
    and become leaders in Judah,
    and Ekron will be like the Jebusites.

  But I will defend my house
    against marauding forces.
  Never again will an oppressor overrun my people,
    for now I am keeping watch.

  Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
    Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
  See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and having salvation,
    gentle and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

  I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
    and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
    and the battle bow will be broken.
  He will proclaim peace to the nations.
    His rule will extend from sea to sea
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.

  As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.

  Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope;
    even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

  I will bend Judah as I bend my bow
    and fill it with Ephraim.
  I will rouse your sons, O Zion,
    against your sons, O Greece,
    and make you like a warrior's sword.

  Then the LORD will appear over them;
    his arrow will flash like lightning.
  The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet;
    he will march in the storms of the south,

    and the LORD Almighty will shield them.
  They will destroy
    and overcome with slingstones.
  They will drink and roar as with wine;
    they will be full like a bowl
    used for sprinkling the corners of the altar.

  The LORD their God will save them on that day
    as the flock of his people.
  They will sparkle in his land
    like jewels in a crown.

  How attractive and beautiful they will be!
    Grain will make the young men thrive,
    and new wine the young women.

Chapter 10

  Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime;
    it is the LORD who makes the storm clouds.
  He gives showers of rain to men,
    and plants of the field to everyone.

  The idols speak deceit,
    diviners see visions that lie;
  they tell dreams that are false,
    they give comfort in vain.
  Therefore the people wander like sheep
    oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

  "My anger burns against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the leaders;
  for the LORD Almighty will care
    for his flock, the house of Judah,
    and make them like a proud horse in battle.

  From Judah will come the cornerstone,
    from him the tent peg,
    from him the battle bow,
    from him every ruler.

  Together they will be like mighty men
    trampling the muddy streets in battle.
  Because the LORD is with them,
    they will fight and overthrow the horsemen.

  "I will strengthen the house of Judah
    and save the house of Joseph.
  I will restore them
    because I have compassion on them.
  They will be as though
    I had not rejected them,
  for I am the LORD their God
    and I will answer them.

  The Ephraimites will become like mighty men,
    and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
  Their children will see it and be joyful;
    their hearts will rejoice in the LORD.

  I will signal for them
    and gather them in.
  Surely I will redeem them;
    they will be as numerous as before.

  Though I scatter them among the peoples,
    yet in distant lands they will remember me.
  They and their children will survive,
    and they will return.

  I will bring them back from Egypt
    and gather them from Assyria.
  I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon,
    and there will not be room enough for them.

  They will pass through the sea of trouble;
    the surging sea will be subdued
    and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
  Assyria's pride will be brought down
    and Egypt's scepter will pass away.

  I will strengthen them in the LORD
    and in his name they will walk,"
        declares the LORD.

Chapter 11

  Open your doors, O Lebanon,
    so that fire may devour your cedars!

  Wail, O pine tree, for the cedar has fallen;
    the stately trees are ruined!
  Wail, oaks of Bashan;
    the dense forest has been cut down!

  Listen to the wail of the shepherds;
    their rich pastures are destroyed!
  Listen to the roar of the lions;
    the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!

    This is what the LORD my God says: "Pasture the flock marked for slaughter. Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, `Praise the LORD, I am rich!' Their own shepherds do not spare them. For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land," declares the LORD. "I will hand everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will oppress the land, and I will not rescue them from their hands."

    So I pastured the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I pastured the flock. In one month I got rid of the three shepherds.
    The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them and said, "I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another's flesh."

    Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. It was revoked on that day, and so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the LORD.

    I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

    And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter"--the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.

    Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

    Then the LORD said to me, "Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hoofs.

  "Woe to the worthless shepherd,
    who deserts the flock!
  May the sword strike his arm and his right eye!
    May his arm be completely withered,
    his right eye totally blinded!"

Chapter 12
An Oracle

his is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the LORD. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, `The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.'

    "On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

    "The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem's inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

    "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives.

Chapter 13

    "On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

    "On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. And if anyone still prophesies, his father and mother, to whom he was born, will say to him, `You must die, because you have told lies in the LORD's name.' When he prophesies, his own parents will stab him.

    "On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision. He will not put on a prophet's garment of hair in order to deceive. He will say, `I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth. ' If someone asks him, `What are these wounds on your body?' he will answer, `The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.'

  "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
    against the man who is close to me!"
    declares the LORD Almighty.
  "Strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be scattered,
    and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

  In the whole land," declares the LORD,
    "two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
    yet one-third will be left in it.

  This third I will bring into the fire;
    I will refine them like silver
    and test them like gold.
  They will call on my name
    and I will answer them;
  I will say, `They are my people,'
    and they will say, `The LORD is our God.' "

Chapter 14

    A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you.

    I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

    Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

    On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime--a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.

    On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.

    The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

    The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.

    This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected--great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.

    Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

    On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty.